Barack Obama’s long absence from Iraq after his one and only visit to the country –a two day visit in January, 2006—is shocking. Until John McCain’s blistering attack on Obama’s apparent indifference to observing conditions there, I had simply assumed that, like Senators McCain, Clinton, Biden and Governor Romney, Obama had been to Iraq after the surge had been initiated and its initial successes achieved. After all, Senator Obama wants to be the Commander-in-Chief in wartime. Given the centrality of the Iraq theater to that war and the conditions in Iraq crucial relevance to the campaign ahead, I am astonished to learn that he hasn’t bothered to make one trip to the country since declaring his candidacy for the presidency.
Obama’s indifference to events in Iraq and the rapid and dramatic progress that has been achieved there in the past 15 months underscores the completeness of the ideology he brings to the campaign. Facts simply don’t matter to him. He has already decided the battle for Iraq is lost, even though it is in fact nearly won. The far left of the Democratic Party demanded an absolute purity on the war, and Obama gave it to them –so completely, it seems, that he decided not to even keep up an appearance of interest in the course of the war.
Michael Yon, by contrast, has spent a great deal of time in Iraq since January of 2005 –much of it on the very front lines of the fighting in places like Mosul, Basra, the worst areas of Anbar and of course Baghdad. Yon has detailed his observations in a remarkable new book, Moment of Truth In Iraq that appeared on May 1. We at Townhall.com esteem the book so highly that we will give you a copy of it if you subscribe to our new magazine. We are convinced that no fair reader of Yon’s stirring accounts of the hard-fought but successful battles of the past two years or of his chilling descriptions of the enemy our forces have faced and largely defeated there under the command of General Pertraeus will be confused about either the stakes or the soundness of Senator McCain’s insistence that we not cut and run on the threshold of this extraordinary victory.
We have even constructed a page for you to give the subscription and the book as a gift to someone else –someone perhaps who doesn’t understand what has been happening in Iraq, someone for whom Bush Derangement Syndrome has grown so feverish that no news is allowed to penetrate their understanding of the war, no matter how disfigured that understanding is.